Just getting back from a great weekend at the Strength and Conditioning Summit at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. This event, brought to reality by the faculty and staff at the University and spearheaded by Dr. Lisa Colvin (a top age group triathlete at the Olympic distance and former athlete of mine) brought in the top Strength and Conditioning Coaches in the country to present on various topics and the latest research in the field. NFL luminaries we're all over the place including several coaches with Super Bowl victories. Coach Dan Reeves, formerly a coach with the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos was the keynote speaker on Friday night and Chris Mortensen of ESPN was the speaker yesterday at a luncheon. My role was to talk about multisport training plan development concepts and ideas, and then to run a short cycling and swimming clinic on Saturday morning. It was a great event and an honor to be invited to present. Oh, and the jambalaya was incredible!!
As any of you who travel for work can attest, traveling makes it hard to focus on your training. Obligations for work, restaurant food, time in the airport and getting from one place to another, flight delays, busted or overcrowded treadmills at the hotel gym, etc. make the best conceived plans to train consistently go the wayside at times. I've learned to live with the uncertainty of if - or when I'll get my training done when I'm traveling for work, but sometimes it can be frustrating.
I have a few strategies that do seem to work I'll share with you:
1. Get the training done early in the morning before the workday begins. Evening obligations with co-workers and/or clients usually prevent any late day workouts from happening.
2. Plan in advance. Try to call ahead to make sure the hotel has a decent workout facility or if there's one nearby. Many hotels will have a relationship with a nearby health club, like a Life Time Fitness.
3. Bring stretch cords. I do some dryland training in the hotel room with my cords to take the place of swimming.
4. Run, run, run. Running is my focus when I travel. I try to rack up some good run volume on the 3-4 days I'm on the road, and then focus on the bike before and after the trip for a few days.
5. Stationary bikes. Where there is a good stationary bike, I focus on short workouts and using big gears / low cadence for strength maintenance. (Example: w/up 5 minutes, 10 minutes of 'grindn' it out' at 60-70 rpms, 5 min cooldown).
6. Eat 'healthy'. It's so easy to overdo the calorie intake when on the road. Breakfast for me will include a bagel / cream cheese and perhaps a little bit of egg at the hotel breakfast bar. I'll snack on an energy bar, like a Clif bar or other organic product. Lunch will include a sandwich, fruit and maybe a salad. Dinners can be difficult depending on where and who you eat with, but I try to keep it simple with a piece of chicken, fish or steak and a plain baked potato (that's it!).... oh, and an adult beverage or two. I find that a simple diet plan keeps me going until I can get home and back into my normal eating routine.
So, traveling makes training for competition a challenge... but it's all part of the game for so many of us! Just have a plan to shift your workouts accordingly, do what you can do, be flexible and try not to get frustrated if your plans don't pan out.